These instructions will take you step-by-step through making a 120cm (4 ft) tall
This 4-cell kite performs best in gentle to moderate
wind speeds. That's 12 to 28kph or 8 to 18mph. Even in light
winds, this kite will hang in the air, although at low line angles.
In fresh winds, it pulls firmly for it's size, so small kids
should only fly it while supervised!
Some of the lines are
longer than the standard 30cm (12”) of most rulers. So, a handy
trick is to stretch out a length of flying line, weigh it down at
each end, and then make several dots beside it – less than a ruler
length apart. The dots can then be joined by using your ruler. With
care, you will end up with a perfectly straight long ruled line every
The MBK Parafoil kite
is inspired by similar-looking retail kites, some of which are quite
large and expensive. However, this tape and plastic version works in
exactly the same way and has been tested up to 200 feet off the
Materials for this
The kite described here will do well with just
about any fairly robust plastic sheet. For example, heavy-duty
painter's drop-sheet or drop-cloth plastic. That would be around 4mil
thickness for those buying plastic sheet in the US. My kite also used
council bin liner plastic. Somewhat thicker and stronger than rubbish
bin (trash can) liners.
Ordinary clear sticky tape in a dispenser is good
for tacking seams together before laying down 5cm (2”) clear
packing tape for strength and stiffness. Other edges just require
sticky tape alone. I used the 1.8cm (3/4”) wide variety.
These instructions illustrate a Parafoil made with
50 pound (strength) Dacron bridle lines. This type of line is readily
available from eBay and Amazon online stores.
Upper And Lower Surfaces
When this kite flies, one surface of the sail
faces the sky – the Upper Surface. The other surface is
easily visible from the ground – the Lower Surface. In
between the two surfaces are vertical panels I will refer to as
Judge the horizontal directions by eye. If you're
careful, there's no need for a T-square since the sail ends up
Start with a fresh sheet of plastic. This is
similar to the very first step – 'Measuring Upper Surface And Side
Keels'. I used a lighter shade of blue plastic for the lower